Finance now flowing from Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

March 26, 2018 1:47 pm

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is officially open for business.  With the first loans already being awarded to growing businesses across the Midlands. The MEIF is delivered by the British Business Bank.  Furthermore, the Fund is investing £120 million of debt finance and small business loans to eligible firms.  This initial tranche of funding is part of a wider £250 million of resource targeted towards the region’s start-ups, scale-ups and SME community.

Loans secured

In fact, four businesses across the Midlands have already secured funding from the MEIF in order to support their growth aspirations.

Leicester-based BCME, owner of specialist education provider Echo Factory has also received finance from MEIF.  This will be used to market its degree-level music courses, thus maximising student numbers.  At the same time, helping the institution become self-sustaining.

Direct Digital Controls, in Brierley Hill, in the West Midlands specialises in the installation and maintenance of energy and environmental control systems.  With the MEIF investment, the firm is poised to take on four new employees.  As well as training an additional apprentice and expanding its growing wired and lighting controls divisions.

Meanwhile, Nottingham-based medical devices company Olberon, has produced a cannulation device  used in the medical industry.  The funding will have a significant impact on commercial sales globally, by allowing them to develop existing links with distributors.  And by helping them market more effectively.

Moreover, Milton Keynes’ Renewable ON Ltd, a clean energy specialist supplies which also installs quality bespoke solar powered LED outdoor and street lighting solutions.  Servicing both the public and private sector. Primarily the loan funds are required for cash flow including stock, wages and marketing to fulfil initial orders.

Ajay Naik is a Director at BCME.  He commented: “At this stage of the business cycle, it is often challenging to engage with mainstream lenders.  We were therefore surprised by how straightforward and logical the MEIF’s lending process was.  It’s been hugely refreshing to speak to fund managers, in person, to explain the merits, strengths and aspirations of Echo Factory.  And, via the support provided, unlock the next step in our growth.  In fact, we’re now poised to significantly bolster our 2018 student intake.  And further expand the range of courses available to those looking to enrol.”

More about the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

Nick Pulley is the Chair of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s Strategic Oversight Board.  He said: “It is heartening to see the first businesses tap into the opportunities presented by the MEIF.  Furthermore, having built a strong pipeline of deals, the fund is well set to accelerate this progress.  SMEs in the market for external finance with growth aspirations should check the website.  And seek out fund managers to find out how the MEIF could take their business to the next level.”

Patrick Magee is Chief Commercial Officer at the British Business Bank.  Patrick commented: “Our aim is to make finance markets work better for smaller businesses and address regional inequalities in funding.  Through our work with the MEIF, we’re poised to support investment, growth and job creation throughout the Midlands.”

The MEIF will invest in debt finance and small business loans, ranging from £25,000 to £1.5m, through appointed Fund Managers.  Namely, these are Enterprise Loans East Midlands, BCRS Business Loans and Maven Capital Partners.  For more information on the funding available, please visit the MEIF website.

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, and the European Investment Bank.

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